Monday, January 19, 2009

Studio Tour - Paper Stories Letterpress

some tools of the trade - the table where i mix ink & keep some basic supplies
When choosing a printer or designer, people always seem to look at samples, their website or even their online shops. Seldom do they think about what goes on behind the scenes... in the printshop. Today I wanted to give you a little studio tour of the Paper Stories shop where all the letterpress magic happens. Hopefully other contributors will join me in sharing a little peek behind the curtain, if you will.

Since I print letterpress, I am tied to a 1200 pound beast of a press, lovingly named 'Miss Chandy P'. At the moment, my studio space is just cozy enough for the press, a few work tables, two paper cutters and a few other smaller presses (that I recently bought and are not in the pictures).
Most of these printing presses are rather old and often have little 'bugs' that need tinkering with from time to time. My press was made in 1926 and for the most part, works really well. She is a real workhorse that has never let me down. (knock on wood)
In any studio space, I think it is important to have personal touches. I have this vintage dresser mirror hanging up that is surrounded by all sorts of photographs and ephemera. Many of the pictures are from rock shows taken by my super talented photog friend, Jeff. When I am printing sometimes I like to take a break and having fun or memorable things to look at keeps me motivated and in a good mood. Standing at a press, all day hand-feeding sheet after sheet, can be very taxing on the body. Taking a little mental break now and then is essential.

I hope you have enjoyed this tiny tour. I think it is always interesting to see people's work spaces. If you aren't familiar with letterpress perhaps you enjoyed just seeing the massive equipment involved. Stay tuned in upcoming weeks as I will do a post about the different types of printing presses used. (Some are way bigger than mine even. Ouch).

~Kelly (all images courtesy of Kelly, Paper Stories)

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